The historic French village of Cahokia, established in 1699 as a mission among the Tamaroa and Cahokia Indians, is the oldest permanent euro-american settlement on the Mississippi River. Cahokia was one of several eighteenth-century villages and forts established in the ter ritory known as the Illinois Country (figure The other French set tlements located in the American Bottom region on the eastern side of the Mississippi River included Kaskaskia Fort de Chartres (ca. Prairie du Rocher (ca. 17 and St. Philippe (ca. Across the Mississippi River in Missouri are the historic French settlements of Ste. Genevieve (ca. 1750) and St. Louis Throughout most of the eighteenth century, these frontier settlements represented the westernmost outreaches of the French Regime, with governmental headquarters in Quebec, Canada, historically known as New France. The villages played a vital economic role in the fur trade and served as a political connection between New France and settlements to the south, such as New Orleans, along the Mississippi River. The historical remnants of this French network in and around the American Bottom is known today as the French Colonial District.